This season was seen as a developmental season with 8 of the squad graduating from the previous year. We started in earnest after Chinese New Year with three sessions a week. With the experience of Sam Bottom drilling the infield, the squad started to grow and it looked like, despite their relative inexperience, we could be challenging for trophies this year.
In late February, we took a young team plus a couple of experienced players in Shaurya Chetal and Jody Kong to Singapore, who were both hoping this would see them selected for SEASAC. This tournament is a great way to get full match practice in against strong teams, and the improvement throughout the weekend of ALL the squad players was there to be seen. We fought hard in every match and challenged all the teams we played against, with the undoubted highlight being the win in the group stages against a good UWC Dover team. We had to play Dover again in the semi-final, and the combination of losing Shinsuke to rugby and a tired looking performance we lost a close game, credit is due to Dover playing a phenomenal innings at the top of the 7th.
We then played ISKL JV in the 3rd / 4th playoff, and as throughout the season where we played them 3 times we won convincingly.
A great tournament and weekend away where the team had fun and most importantly developed their skills and strategic play.
Following this weekend we took a near full team to the ISAC weekend. We played two games over the weekend winning both, the first against an improved MKIS and then a nerve-wracking victory in the next game against ISKL JV. Needing to score runs in the final innings, a special mention must be made of Mark Jalleh who rose to the occasion by hitting a double to seal victory with two outs; to score those runs under that amount of pressure is a phenomenal effort.
We then played ISKL Varsity with the victors taking the ISAC trophy. Alas, our batting didn’t live up to expectations and the better side won on the day. ISKL’s experience showed through with constant base hitting ans as a result they dominated our team. Lessons to be learnt!!
To kick start SEASAC, we were first up against the local team NIST. We knew the game was going to be tough, but that didn’t stir our confidence as we had beaten them last year. The match turned out to be the hardest we played in the whole tournament. We ended up losing 16-0 to the team that would eventually go on to win the whole tournament. But we were to learn from our mistakes. Our next game was against the defending champions UWCSEA East. We had brought our game up by a lot. Our fielding was exceptional, unfortunately, East were the better team and we lost 16-0 again. That brought our first day to a close but we still never lost confidence in ourselves.
We started the next day with our heads high hoping to turn things around and start afresh. Our first game was against CDNIS. What a game it was!. We played like champions. Amazing all round performances by everybody help the team to a comfortable 8 – 3 victory. However, we did suffer the loss of our captain Rohan, who was in great form, due to a hamstring injury.
Our next game was against ISY. We started very well, with 2 runs on the board from the first innings. However some unfortunate dropped catches and great base hitting by the opposition saw the game slip away from our reach with the final score of 8 – 14. But we were still in for the plate. A 4th place finish in the group stage meant that we would be facing the home team, Patana Bangkok in the semis for the plate. We started out brilliantly, with Alex Hodson scoring a fantastic home run to put us in the lead with 2 runs. We displayed top class fielding by taking almost all the catches that came our way. However, Patana showed excellence with the bat, by hitting countless home runs and snatching the victory.
Next day we were to face ISY again in the 7/8 playoffs. Despite the loss the day before, the boys kept their composure and concentration. The game was looking great for us, by the end of the 5th innings we had let them score only 5 runs. The game was very loud as both teams were looking to win. However, we were not able to turn the game around and saw ISY take the game away yet again. This meant that we finished 8th in the whole tournament ahead of MKIS and CDNIS, with Shin getting the MVP award for our team for the whole tournament.
As a whole the Softball season has been fantastic. We started the year out with a fresh new team, with a few familiar faces from last year and the year before. Our great success came against ISKL Junior Varsity, who we beat every time we were up against them. As great as this team was we have to say goodbye to those who will be leaving us this year in order to begin new adventures in their life. These will include our captain Rohan, Alex Hodson, Arjun, Shinn.
Next year we will be faced with new challenges but they will surely not scare us and we will face them as a stronger team.